Coffee sits just behind tea as the second most consumed drink in the world yet ironically the vast majority of us don’t like the taste so we add all sorts of different things to make it taste better.
There are hundreds of different ways to add coffee flavouring to enhance the way it tastes but what are the best coffee flavours and how do you make your coffee taste better?
Humans are genetically designed to love sugar so when you add it to pretty much anything that something is going to taste better and coffee is no exception.
Let’s face it, most coffee has a bitter flavour and aftertaste and the easiest way to take that away is to add sugar.
The only problem is that you really need to restrict the amount of “free sugar” you consume to about 30g per day so if you are going to be adding it to your coffee then choose wisely.
Choosing the right sugar for your coffee can make a big difference to the flavour so if you only have white granulated sugar in your cupboard and you use that for both tea and coffee, then buying some sugar specifically for coffee will make it taste better.
What is the best sugar for coffee?
White sugar is the most popular because it’s the cheapest and most convenient but it doesn’t make for the best taste.
In the same way that different wines pair perfectly with different food, the same applies to sugar and coffee.
Drinking coffee with white sugar is like having a crisp, white wine with a juicy steak, it won’t be terrible but if you pair it with a deep, bold red wine it’s going to taste an awful lot better.
Brown sugar is the way to go when it comes to coffee. There is a hugely confusing array of choice which is probably why most people stick to white sugar and a lot of brown sugar types are most suited to cooking.
The way to go when choosing brown sugar for coffee is Demerara.
Demerara sugar contains molasses which gives it a very subtle caramel flavour that beautifully compliments coffee.
Don’t bother with cubes that you will find in supermarkets because whilst they may seem convenient, one or two cubes may not be the correct amount for your particular taste and they also work out really expensive.
Go for the 2kg bags of supermarket own brand which is the most cost-effective way in terms of cost per kilo.
Buy it that way and you will get twice as much for your money than buying it in cube form and it will never go off before you use it as sugar lasts for years before it goes bad if stored correctly.
There are all sorts of artificial sugars available and whilst they may be sweeter than normal sugar and contain fewer calories they are not going to do you any favours when it comes to making your coffee taste better so if you really want to enjoy your coffee then we would not recommend any of these artificial sweeteners.
What is the best milk for coffee?
So we know that brown sugar is better for coffee flavour but you wouldn’t necessarily associate the right milk with making your coffee taste better but it does make a big difference to the overall flavour.
“Full Fat” milk as we like to call it in the UK is the default milk type that all coffee shops use and for very good reason, it tastes the best.
Most of us probably have semi-skimmed milk as your milk of choice that sits in the fridge for daily use and as a result, it’s semi-skimmed that gets added to your coffee every day.
It’s probably the word “full fat” that puts us off but the correct terminology is “whole milk” and it really doesn’t have a huge amount of fat in it anyway.
Whole milk contains approximately 3.5% fat, skimmed milk about 1.5% and skimmed milk less than 0.3%
What it boils down to is that the more fat you remove from milk the more flavour you also remove.
If you want to get the best flavour out of your coffee then add a bottle of whole milk to your weekly shop and keep it for your coffee.
Personally, I get Cravendale because once opened it will last for a week without going off as opposed to 3 or 4 days with the supermarket own-brand milk.
Who would have thought that just by changing the sugar and milk in your coffee you can make it taste much better?
Other ways to sweeten coffee
If you want to cut down on your sugar intake but you still need to sweeten your coffee then cinnamon is a great way to switch it up.
It’s often added as a sprinkling on top of coffee to spice it up a bit but you can also add more as a complete substitute to sugar.
It’s healthier than sugar and has a lot fewer calories so while it may take a little getting used to, if you like the flavour of cinnamon then this is a genuine option to completely replace sugar or you can mix it up a little by going half and half.
If you take two sugars try reducing it to one and adding cinnamon in place of the other one.
Nutmeg is another great option that compliments coffee well. It’s a bit stronger in flavour than cinnamon so be careful to only add small amounts so that you don’t overpower the coffee flavour.
Cocoa Powder is often sprinkled onto a cappuccino to finish it off and provides some added sweetness but if cappuccino is not your drink of choice you can add cocoa powder to any coffee type to alter the flavour.
Honey is the most natural way to sweeten coffee and has a very different taste to sugar, it’s much more intense but it’s different and if you have never tried it then it is well worth a go.
If you have a bottle of Maple syrup tucked away in the back of the cupboard that didn’t quite get used up then this is another very sweet alternative that is different again in flavour to our other suggestions. Who knows, it might just be the one that surprises you the most.
The vanilla flavoured syrup is a very popular addition to many a latte ordered in a coffee shop but instead of going full-blown syrup buy some vanilla extract and try one or two drops in your coffee made at home.
Because of how concentrated it is, this is a really cost-effective way to make a big change to the coffee flavour.
Everyone has a different palette and there are multiple different options available when it comes to adding coffee syrup to enhance the flavour.
Some of the most popular flavours to try are Vanilla, Caramel, Hazelnut, Gingerbread and chocolate.
You won’t like them all and it can be annoying (and expensive) to buy a big bottle only to find you don’t really like it after a few cups so the best way to go about it is to try a small sampler pack such as the Monin syrup coffee taster set before you commit to bigger quantities
Start with a small amount first then add up to around 3 teaspoons of syrup to your coffee and remember to add less sugar because the syrup will act as a natural sweetener anyway.
What is the best flavoured coffee drink?
A Mocha is probably the most popular alternative to a standard coffee and so much so that it has it’s own name even though it is pretty much a standard coffee with chocolate syrup added.
Most people love coffee and most people love chocolate so blended together it makes for a great combination to boost the flavour of any coffee.
To make it yourself add steamed milk to a double espresso and then add some chocolate syrup to taste. Whipped cream is optional but not really recommended for daily drinking as it will really add to your calorie intake so the cream is best left as an occasional treat.
Once you go beyond mocha anything goes and it really comes down to personal preference.
The next time you are in Starbucks or Caffe Nero or Costa take a closer look at all the different types of syrups they have and try something new.
Once you find the one you like you can then replicate it at home for a fraction of the price of a coffee shop.
It’s a lot cheaper than you think to make your own speciality flavoured coffee in the comfort of your own home and you can tweak it just how you like it so that it ends up being better than what you pay a fortune for on the high street.
It ends up being an investment even though there is an initial outlay because by the time you have made 50-100 coffees you will have your money back and some.